I always hear people always say, “if only real life were like a Broadway musical!”, and I am pretty sure they mean that if they started dancing in the street, others would follow and it would be show-stoppingly awesome. And that is a legitimate dream. But I think if you really analyze your relationships you will see that your dating life has had more in common with Broadway musicals than you thought.
The AABA Structure
Just like songs in musicals, your relationship pattern might be a bit cyclical. You date the main melody, take a break with a vastly different bridge, then hit the main melody again. Twice.
Your Exes Are All Showtunes
Like it or not, in the musical that is your life, all the relationships you have had act as dramatic elements in your life story that help develop the plot. Some are bright and cheery, some are dark and foreboding, some help you reach a new level of understanding about yourself, or some help you make a decision about your life. But all of them contribute to the finale. (And some of them you can’t STAND.)
You Can Flirt With A Variety Of Types (Of People)
In your life, you’ll try the ballad (that way too romantic relationship where you find yourself saying things you thought you’d never say and know aren’t true), the charm song,(you’re falling for someone because of their convincing nature — see: My Fair Lady’s “Wouldn’t It Be Lovely”), comedy numbers (the focus of your relationship is laughing), and musical scenes (which involve a lot of back and forth between characters, talking and singing.)
Most Of The Arguing Happens Behind Closed Curtains
Just as you generally quibble with your partner when others aren’t around, you know that after a musical, after everyone is done holding hands and bowing, they return behind the curtain to real life, where they have argued and ticked each other fought and sabotaged each other. IT HAPPENS. But they flip on that happy face once the lights come back on for the next show.
While There Are Always A Few Curveballs And Surprises, You Kind Of Know What’s Going To Happen
Admit it: 99% of the time when a relationship starts, you have a feeling where things are going. Way deep deep down inside you somewhere. Often you’re with people that make no sense and you know it and that’s fine with you. And while it’s a little shocking when it happens, you know that it actually wouldn’t have made sense (for the sake of the story) to stay with that person. They were there, as I have mentioned before, contributing to the finale.
Placement Is Everything
In a musical, song placement is important because it pulls the story along. If the ballad occurs before the main character belts out the song where they share their innermost hopes and dreams, the plot won’t make any sense. And if you dated the nice guy before you dated the cheater, your plot won’t make sense, either.
In music, a reprise is when part of a song is repeated to make a dramatic point. But what is your relationship reprise? Do you find yourself singing “Don’t Rain On My Parade” (from Funny Girl), “Goodnight My Someone” (The Music Man), or maybe “What Have I Done” (Les Miserables)?
Some Things Rhyme And Some Things… Don’t
Rhyming, like anything in love, is beautiful — especially when it’s creative (examples in musicals are rhyming “heinous” with “Coriolanus” in Kiss Me Kate‘s “Brush Up Your Shakespeare” and the famous “fly-high-guy-sky-I” from Anything Goes‘ “I Get A Kick Out Of You”.) But it shouldn’t be forced. And when it is, it’s painfully obvious. And a sign that you’ve got a terrible musical, or relationship, on your hands.
You know that feeling when someone announces that “the role of Deloris van Cartier in tonight’s performance of Sister Act will instead feature Rashidra Scott instead of Raven-Symoné” and you’re like, “WHAT? I’m going home!” But then you end up loving Rashidra Scott a lot, maybe even more? That is the exact same feeling when you go to the beach with your friends and someone brings their new girlfriend. You’re like, WHO IS SHE? And then she puts on a really fabulous performance, anyway.